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A business professional is a worker who is engaged in the business community in one of many, many roles. Business professionals can work as managers and there are many different hats a manager can wear including operations manager, supply chain manager, database manager, etc., not to mention the varieties of management each industry requires. They can also serve their firms as marketing professionals, human resources experts, information technology pros, or in one of many other roles.

Typically, business professionals work in office buildings at computer terminals and they traditionally wear formal business attire each day and adhere to professional standards of speech and conduct. These days, however, many business environments are becoming more casual when it comes to mode of dress. Business professionals may also pursue their work as a remote worker, though most will still need to log hours in the office, depending on their firm, job title, and other factors.

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Online Business Education in Nebraska

Nebraska is famous for corn and a robust agricultural sector in general. However, that activity is only the 9th largest industry in the state. In fact, the list is topped by manufacturing, for which Nebraska ranks at #35 in the nation. Nebraska also has a very strong financial sector, real estate market, and professional/business services industry. Rounding out the top five industries in Nebraska are social services sectors such as healthcare, education, and social assistance.

Therefore, Nebraska is obviously more than a state for just agribusiness. In fact, it's a state for business. Nebraskans are not unlike citizens in business hubs like New York or Seattle. They need a strong infrastructure that supports business activities. The key support to a strong business community is its state's colleges and universities. Educational institutions are key because they produce workers that are trained in the latest business practices including information technology, marketing, and financial matters.

To help Nebraska compete on the national and international stage, its colleges and universities must maintain top standards for educational excellence. This means that they must continually recruit the best business minds academia has to offer. Meanwhile, they also need to help build the state's economy. After all, Nebraska has its own ways of doing business and peculiarities in how its industries conduct themselves. To help prepare Nebraskan students to succeed in the state, colleges and universities recruit business professionals from the state's economy. Experience may not always be the key to the best instruction but, when a professor can relate concepts to events from their experience, students are likely to engage deeper and gain new insights into how things are done in the real world.

All in all, an online business degree from a Nebraska college or university will help students launch into the state's economy with gusto.

Online Associate Degree in Business (AS)

An online associate business degree from one of Nebraska's community colleges can be a terrific way to launch a career in business. Two-year business programs can often be enough to prepare a worker for many years without having to do much more than receive training from their firm. This may be particularly true for those who work as office managers or salespeople. Other fields, such as accounting or finance, are sure to demand more academic training because of their complexity.

Nevertheless, a two-year associate business degree has many advantages. One of the key advantages to pursuing a two-year degree is the fact that all associate degrees include the core college curriculum, such as courses in college math, English 101, and more. Nebraska's community colleges do this at a much lower cost per credit hour than their four-year peers. Thus, students who complete a full bachelor’s business degree find that their first two years came at a steep discount. In fact, some use their two-year associate business degrees to land an entry-level position with an employer who offers tuition reimbursement for their remaining two years. An associate business degree is an inherently good business decision.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business (BS)

An online bachelor’s business degree is often considered the baseline degree for a successful start in business. While that's not necessarily true, most employers do look for a bachelor’s degree from their candidates. This is because a four-year degree proves that the candidate has the sort of dedication and resilience to see through a multi-year project that dives deep into business concepts and theories. A bachelor’s degree also offers students the opportunity to expand their horizons with internships, minor concentrations, and many other experiences that produce a well-rounded graduate.

A bachelor’s degree is not only a good way to land an interview for an entry-level position, but it is a fantastic foundation for later learning. For those who work in the tech sector, a bachelor’s degree is required for many high-status certifications, and a four-year degree is absolutely necessary for those who desire graduate school.

Online Master's Degree in Business (MS)

An MBA or other online master’s business degree is the gold standard for business professionals. In fact, it's virtually required for many upper-level management positions, as well as for work in the C-suites. While it may sound as though all MBAs are created equal, that's far from the truth.

While MBA degrees typically follow the same general structure, each program has many unique things to offer. Apart from faculty and other factors, each MBA program has its own set of concentration areas to offer. Students generally spend their first year of an MBA in a general business curriculum, in which they might brush up on subjects or receive altogether new instruction. Then the second year is when MBA students pursue a concentration. This might be in a field such as marketing or supply chain management, but it could also be technology-related, such as information technology or management information systems. MBA graduates typically see their earnings rise significantly upon graduation, if not before.

Online PhD Degree in Business (PhD)

A PhD in a business field is not particularly common, even these days when the press for a graduate degree is more urgent. However, the technology sector may help to change that. Many technology leaders are coming from PhD programs where they have mastered the tools that make businesses run. Many PhD candidates are even ending their studies prior to their dissertation defense for the sake of starting a firm based on their doctoral research.

A PhD can also be useful for those who are fascinated with business concepts and who are eager to teach at the college level. While a master's business degree is a minimum qualification to teach at a Nebraska university, a PhD will help students earn tenure and have a more successful career in general. While some businesspeople may desire more earnings, many college professors generate income through outside consulting jobs.

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Become a Business Development Specialist in Nebraska

There are many ways to become a business professional in Nebraska. In fact, nearly anyone can do it provided they are of legal working age or have a business license. Even children with lemonade stands are businesspeople of a sort, though it’s unlikely that their enterprises will reach the Fortune 500. With that said, future Nebraska businesspeople can often identify their future business roles in their early lives.

To return to the earlier example, kids who start up their own lemonade stand may be exhibiting early entrepreneurial impulses. They may also find that they have talent regarding creating their product, counting the money, or attracting new customers. Each of those seemingly small roles are reflected in the real business world. Money counters might be future accountants, and the hucksters who cajole pedestrians into buying lemonade may be fantastic marketing executives as adults.

Later on, when lemonade magnates move on in school, they should try to focus their efforts on subjects and activities that foster a business mindset. There are high schools that are focusing on STEM subjects and their college courses will focus on core analytical skills, mathematics, and accounting courses. When seeking a business school, students should first look for the best accredited program they can find. At a minimum, business degree programs should be accredited by a CHEA-approved agency, called regional accreditation. For the more ambitious, they might consider a business degree program that holds a program-specific accreditation from an agency such as AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. There are business degree programs with these credentials at the associate business degree, bachelor’s business degree, and MBA levels.

While not required, a degree is a terrific boon to any business professional. Students can start their careers with an associate degree, but they should always keep a bachelor’s or MBA in mind. The higher their degree level the greater their success is likely to be. For those in fields such as accounting or technology, certifications can likewise boost earnings and help them earn promotions.

Potential Careers for Business Graduates

  • VP Operations:
    This is a top-level position that will likely require a master's degree, preferably an MBA with a concentration in operations management. Employers often need to see a proven track record as well, often up to 10 years. Depending on the firm, a VP of operations can earn well into the six-figures even before bonus.
  • Marketing Development Manager:
    Every business needs to develop and grow, and they need creative, insightful professionals to help them achieve their goals. Business development directors are at the top of the corporate ladder, so they need an MBA and plenty of experience in the firm's industry.
  • Human Resources Specialist:
    This may be an entry-level position, depending on the firm and the specific job duties involved. Thus, an associate or bachelor’s degree may be enough to land the job. The position may involve working with employees during their benefits enrollment periods, conducting various training sessions, and ensuring that the firm adheres to state and federal employment regulations.
  • Team Leader:
    This is a great position to get into management from. Team leaders are often employees who are selected to act as a semi-supervisor under their manager. They are in a leadership role that may entail extra responsibilities, though this role can mean different things in different firms and industries and duties are not standardized in the business community. However, a person who works as a team leader may be groomed for higher management later on.
  • Administrative Assistant:
    This is a great job in which to start a business career. Depending on the business environment, it may also be a great career in itself. Assistants who work for attorneys are known to earn in the six figures.
  • Account Manager:
    This is typically a position found in marketing firms where professionals seek to attract and service new clients. Account managers should have experience or a degree in marketing, if not both. To excel, account managers need to have strong communication skills to help the rest of the team understand and exceed client expectations. However, these client-focused businesspeople are also found in other industries, so don’t let a disinterest in marketing put you off.
  • IT Director:
    With five or more years of experience in IT, a network administrator, database manger, or cyber security expert might move into this role. Firms these days may be more likely to require an MBA or a graduate degree in information technology, though an MBA with a concentration in IT will be optimal. With the right degree and experience it may be possible to rise into a position as CIO.
  • Entrepreneur:
    This isn't so much a job as an approach to business. Anyone who can get a business license and ample capital can launch an entrepreneurial enterprise. However, many aspiring entrepreneurs earn a bachelor’s business degree, if not an MBA. While a degree is not required, students earn a bachelor’s degree to sharpen their skills and to build their knowledge base. An MBA may seem superfluous, but there are many entrepreneurs who return to graduate school for the sake of networking with the business community's best and brightest.

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